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Curated research library of TV news clips regarding the NSA, its oversight and privacy issues, 2009-2014

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Primary curation & research: Robin Chin, Internet Archive TV News Researcher; using TV News Archive service.

Speakers

John Brennan
Director of the CIA
CSPAN 12/11/2014
Brennan: When the President came into office in January, 2009, he took the position that these techniques were contrary to our values and he unequivocally banned their use. He has consistently expressed the view that these techniques did significant damage to America's standing in the world and made it harder to pursue our interests with allies and partners. Something I have experienced firsthand. But as the President stated this week, the previous administration faced agonizing choices about how to pursue al Qaeda and prevent additional terrorist attacks against our country. While facing fears of further attacks and carrying out the responsibility to prevent more catastrophic loss of life. There were no easy answers. And whatever your views are on EITs, our nation and in particular this agency did a lot of things right during this difficult time to keep this country strong and secure.
John Brennan
Director of the CIA
CSPAN 12/11/2014
Brennan: But let me be clear. We have not concluded that it was the use of EITs within that program that allowed us to obtain useful information from detainees subjected to them. The cause and effect relationship between the use of EITs and useful information subsequently provided by the detainee is in my view unknowable. Irrespective of the role EITs might play in a detainee's provision of useful information, I believe effective non-coercive methods are available to elicit such information. Methods that do not have a counterproductive impact on our national security and on our international standing. It is for these reasons that I fully support the President's decision to prohibit the use of EITs.
Robert Litt
General Cousel, Office of Director of National Intelligence
CSPAN 12/12/2014
Litt: if I could talk about section 309 which is actually not part of the appropriations bill. It’s in the intelligence authorization bill, and it absolutely does not do what people have said it does. It does not give any authority to the NSA to do anything. What it does in fact, is impose restrictions on the -- on surveillance. What it says is when you collect information about Americans, regardless of the authority you collect it under, whether it is under FISA or any other authority, you must limit the retention of information about those people. So I do not know why people are misreading this as if it gives authority to NSA. It does not.
Robert Litt
General Cousel, Office of Director of National Intelligence
CSPAN 12/12/2014
Litt: I do know something about Directive Clapper. I don’t know if you’ve had a chance to read the letters I wrote to the New York Times and to the New Yorker about this. It is utterly wrong to say that he (Director James Clapper) lied. There’s a famous quote from Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes. It says even a dog knows the difference between being tripped and being kicked over. And the point there is that lying means that you’re saying a conscious falsehood intentionally. I was with the DNI, and I was with him both before, during and after that. And I can tell you that he made a mistake. And he acknowledged making a mistake.
Robert Litt
General Cousel, Office of Director of National Intelligence
CSPAN 12/12/2014
Litt: The question is did he (Director James Clapper) do it in public before - Did he correct it in public before the Snowden disclosures? And the answer is he didn’t. Maybe he got bad advice from his lawyer on this. But we talked about this immediately after the hearing. Because we went to him and we said you know, that’s not right because of this 215 program which he had not focused on. If you read his answer, you’ll see he’s clearly thinking of the 702 program – that’s clear from what he says. And we talked about can we correct this or not and the problem was, and I had conversations with Senator Wyden’s staffer about this. And the problem was to correct this on the public record, we essentially would have had to reveal the program that was still classified. So it is A, wrong and B, kind of annoying to me that people continue to repeat this statement that he lied. Because he didn’t. And so to go on to your question, I would say the difference between this and other things is that there was not a crime committed here.
Robert Litt
General Cousel, Office of Director of National Intelligence
CSPAN 12/12/2014
Hawkins Do you think that it should have been handled differently? Litt: Yes, as I say, he may have gotten bad advice from his lawyer But in retrospect what would have been the right way to handle it? Hawkins: What would have been the right way to do it would be to send a declassified letter to the committee immediately there after, saying I misspoke but I can’t reveal it on the public record. And I regret, one of the things I regret in five-and-a-half years on the job is that I did not advise the DNI to do that. Hawkins: In a situation like that, I think that in addition to a class, if there’s public testimony there should have been at least be some public marker that there is a classified addendum to some testimony in that hearing. Otherwise the public is still left with an actively misleading impression Litt: You know the problem is that there shouldn’t be questions asked about classified hearings, classified programs in public hearings.
Eric Schmidt
Executive Chairman of Google
CSPAN 12/12/2014
Schmidt: There's been damage sort of at many levels. Let's start by saying that if you're a European right now you're less likely to trust an American firm to retain your data. Maybe you should always be less likely but now as a result of these revelations you're less likely. As a company what Google is we massively encrypted our internal systems using encryption that is 2048 bit long and for the nontechnical I'll just describe that 2048 is much larger than the original 1024, not twice as big, it’s many, many times bigger. It's generally viewed that this level of encryption is unbreakable in our lifetimes by any sets of human beings in any way. We'll see if that's really true. But I today believe that if you have important information the safest place to keep it is in Google.
Eric Schmidt
Executive Chairman of Google
CSPAN 12/12/2014
And I can assure you that the safest place to not keep it is anywhere else because of the level of attacks, first the Chinese attack and then later the N.S.A., GCHQ, whatever you want to call it attack. So it has affected our relations and in particular conversations in Europe where people are very sensitive to this. It's also caused us to tighten every procedure within our systems. So we're just a lot safer.
Eric Schmidt
Executive Chairman of Google
CSPAN 12/12/2014
Schmidt: we clearly do not want to encourage bulk data leaking. Imagine, again, think of all the data bases that exist about us, health records, tax records, where you are, what you’re doing, all that kind of stuff. It is not good for society to encourage people to do that (encourage bulk data leaking). On the other hand his (Edward Snowden’s) disclosures were helpful in shining a light on these practices that certainly people like myself and maybe you didn't know existed. We knew they were possible but the extent of them was a shock. Especially when it starts to, monitoring data traffic between Google servers where they're clearly monitoring traffic for people who are in the U.S., which as I understand, and I'm not a lawyer, is not their mission.
Eric Schmidt
Executive Chairman of Google
CSPAN 12/12/2014
Schmidt: The problem with the government request is it would be great if you're the government, to have a trap door. How do we, Google, know that the other government has not taken over the trap door from you? And we can't prove, and we're not endorsing this notion of a U.S. trap door. Which is precisely what the public safety people would like. Our argument, which I think is very clear now, and it’s true throughout the industry, is that the government has so many ways and properly so by the way to go in what we call the front door. They're called warrants. Okay? They're called good police work. They're called sitting the perpetrator in the desk with the guy in the front. You know you see this in the movies. All that kind of stuff. Just because you could put a trap door in does not mean that you do for all of the unintended consequences.
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